Date   

FT-60R a Good Beginner's HT?

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

From the In Box from a soon-to-be ham in Mesa, Arizona ...

... thinking about getting the Yaesu FT-60R. What do you think about this radio for a beginner?
It is a GREAT rig - not only for someone new to the hobby, but to anyone in Mesa who wants to communicate on your local repeaters, work the ham satellites, and talk simplex.

You have a couple good clubs in the region ... been to a Superstition Amateur Radio Club meeting? They have 2 meter machines up on the mountain. As well as several other clubs.

Back to the FT-60R. It features ...

- 1,000 memories
- Wide receive (essentially 108mHZ to a gig)
- Large, legible display
- Easy to manually program
- Bulletproof case design
- Strongest belt clip of ANY ham HT chassis on the market
- GREAT battery life - and a great power situation using the optional FBA-25 AA alkaline case: You have FULL TX POWER available to you using AA alkalines or NiMH cells. Many other ham radios do NOT offer high power TX when using their optional AA cases!

I own many handheld ham radios. Most were more expensive than the FT-60R. But you know which radio I have taken and shown its capabilities to ALL of my 50+ ham satellite demos and presentations? The FT-60R.

Please download a copy of my one-page programming instructions from my Web site (don't toss the 84-page Users manual ... just know that you don't need to memorize all that stuff to get on the air quickly with your FT-60R).

The FT-60R is available NEW and WARRANTEED for under $200 from Ham Radio Outlet, Amateur Electronics Supply, and other reputable Yaesu dealers. I recommend NOT looking for a used one ... you have no idea what abuse a used one may have been subjected to ... used ones never come with a NEW battery ... used ones are not, for the most part, guaranteed at all.

PLEASE WRITE BACK with any questions or comments. And congratulations on your interest in this magnificent hobby!

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com - look under DOCS on this site for the FT-60 programming guide


Tape Measure Yagi

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

I recently added WB2HOL Joe Leggio's classic "Tape Measure Yagi" construction article to our Work-Sat Web page ...

http://www.work-sat.com

Joe writes ...

" ... my 3 element tape-measure yagi design has been successfully used in EME communications too. (A target a bit further away than your FM satellites!)

"See here: http://www.g4dcv.co.uk/dfeme.htm

"Also, the plans for the antenna are also in the current ARRL Antenna Handbook."

Clint


PocketSat - RIP ???

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Unfortunately, I heard "one of us" report last week that "PocketSat isn't really popular any more, with the demise of the Palm computing platform ... "

That's woefully incorrect on many fronts.

Palm users are plentiful, and Jim is still supporting us. PocketSat+ is still the best Palm-platform satellite tracking software available, IMHO. Support still at ...

http://www.bigfattail.com

But Jim has not let his programming skills stagnate. We now have PocketSat3 for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices. It provides gorgeous screen graphics for our passes. Available in the Apple Store. Docs and support at Jim's new site at ...

http://www.pocketsat.com/

It works marvelously on my new 32GB iPod touch. AMSAT's keps are one of the four default sets for painless download. Recently added is a "View Constellation" mode - which overlays your view of the heavens on a sat pass.

There are several "satellite trackers" in the Apple Store ... from free to $.099 to a few bucks. I have tried five others. NONE of them come close to the feature set, ease of use, and product support that one receives with PocketSat3.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
909-241-7666


Re: pass coordinates

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

I would assume that "true" North would be correct ... since it is not "variable."

Clint


pass coordinates

k7cwq <lorenrasmussen@...>
 

When the coordinates are given for a pass,
is the reference Magnetic North or True North?
Here in Central Oregon, the correction is twenty degrees.
Thanks
Loren k7cwq


Work SO-67!

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

See the U.S/ schedule on the blog - link at the top of this page ...

http://www.work-sat.com

Clint


FT-817 Programming Software

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

On another subject; what is a good and affordable programming software for the FT-817?
I have an older copy (pre-USB cable setup) of RT System's ADMS-4A ...

The current version includes a USB cable:

ADMS-4A-USB - $49
Advanced Data Management System USB Kit
-with Version 4 Software and New USB Cable

Includes: Windows based software for programming the
memories and settings of the FT-817.
For Windows 2000, XP or Vista (32 or 64 bit).

AND

USB-62 - USB to 8-pin mini din cable computer interface cable.


But if you already have a Yaesu CT-62 serial port to the radio cable, you might like this software for $15 ...

http://www.g4hfq.co.uk/

... of FT817 Commander (donationware, I believe) at ...

http://www.ham-radio-deluxe.com/Programs/FT817Commander/tabid/92/Default.aspx

Clint


Re: I Think I'm Hooked

LOREN RASMUSSEN <lorenrasmussen@...>
 

hey Ed,  I just got hooked myself.  after a couple weeks of listening, in the last three days I have made three contacts.  man, this is fun.
Loren
K7CWQ

----- Original Message -----
From: flhtci97
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 4:11 PM
Subject: [Work-Sat] I Think I'm Hooked

I managed to listen in on two passes of AO-51 this afternoon and evening. There were lots of signals and managing the Arrow II in the gusty winds was a bit of a challenge. I didn't change frequency to allow for the doppler shift but the signals were still very readable through most of the passes.

On another subject; what is a good and affordable programming software for the FT-817?

73 de Ed N0EHQ EN31IA



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I Think I'm Hooked

flhtci97 <flhtci97@...>
 

I managed to listen in on two passes of AO-51 this afternoon and evening. There were lots of signals and managing the Arrow II in the gusty winds was a bit of a challenge. I didn't change frequency to allow for the doppler shift but the signals were still very readable through most of the passes.

On another subject; what is a good and affordable programming software for the FT-817?

73 de Ed N0EHQ EN31IA


Re: Arrow vs. Elk Performance

ed palmer <flhtci97@...>
 

I haven't buit an antenna for satellite work.....yet that is. I'll be trying out a used Arrow II antenna that I purchased this past week that looks well used but still in good shape. What programming software do you use?
 
73 Ed N0EHQ


--- On Sun, 11/8/09, K6LCS wrote:

From: K6LCS
Subject: [Work-Sat] Re: Arrow vs. Elk Performance
To: Work-Sat@...
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 1:43 PM

 
> Thanks for your un-scientific analysis ...

I absolutely DO see the need for engineers in our world ... (grin)

> ... daunting task of programming memories into the FT-817ND ...

I hate to admit it, but I used programming software to program my '817.

But I *can* manually program split freqs on an FT-60R! (At least I think I remember ...).

Which "homebrew" sat antenna did you build?

Clint



Re: Arrow vs. Elk Performance

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Thanks for your un-scientific analysis ...
I absolutely DO see the need for engineers in our world ... (grin)

... daunting task of programming memories into the FT-817ND ...
I hate to admit it, but I used programming software to program my '817.

But I *can* manually program split freqs on an FT-60R! (At least I think I remember ...).

Which "homebrew" sat antenna did you build?

Clint


Re: Arrow vs. Elk Performance

ed palmer <flhtci97@...>
 

Clint,
 
Thanks for your un-scientific analysis of the two antennas which I found very enjoyable to read. I just received my used Arrow II yesterday and got it put together this morning. I'm going to see if I can hear AO-51 this afternoon here in south central Iowa. If successful then on to the daunting task of programming memories into the FT-817ND.
 
I'll keep the group posted with my progress. I'm retiring later this week so should have more time for ham radio and for flying my homebuilt as well.
 
73 Ed N0EHQ
 
 

--- On Sun, 11/8/09, K6LCS wrote:

From: K6LCS
Subject: [Work-Sat] Arrow vs. Elk Performance
To: Work-Sat@...
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 1:13 PM

 
>> ... I am torn between purchasing an Arrow or an Elk ... But there's some negative messagegroup posts against the Arrow ...

I have not been able to determine WHEN and WHY that "anti-Arrow" sentiment started.

Personally, unless a "performance results" post on either the Elk or the Arrow antenna begins with the phrase ...

"According to my professional- grade, recently-calibrated signal generator indicates [such-and-such performance] ' ...

- then the "report" is valueless to me." Because I hate "Internet myths passed as truth" and mindless repeating of un-cited sources. ESPECIALLY when my first-hand experiences indicate something totally opposite.

Some will tell you that you need to add little washers to each Arrow Antenna element. Others state that its duplexer is a miserable performer. Let me tell you a story ...

While I was working at Ham Radio Outlet, a client - an ENGINEER - bought an Arrow Sat Antenna w/duplexer from me - on my recommendation. I mean, I bought one myself, and was enjoying it. I wanted all my clients to enjoy them, too.

But there he was, waiting for me to open up the shop the next morning, Arrow Antenna in hand. "This cannot possibly work," he declared. "It is engineered all wrong. I want to return it."

Part of me wanted to "question / challenge" him and find out what troubled him. But he was so adamant that I immediately dropped that idea. Instead, I began to think, "Open Stock item - 10% discount ... " So I cheerfully refunded him his money, and bought the "defective, engineered all wrong" unit myself as soon as he left the store.

And you know what's coming next: Honest to gawd, it is the exact same antenna I have been using the past five or six years for my demos and presentations. The only "degradation" from Day One has been the color of the elements (brand new out of the bag, they're a vibrant purple. Mine, however, have "faded" over time to what I term an "elegant, well-worn light purple ... "

There WAS an honest, un-biased test result posted recently on the 'Net of the Arrow duplexer used, indicating about a 1/3 of one db loss through it. That is quite reasonable, and what I would expect from that circuitry.

And if one uses one of those little 18" thin jumper cables to convert from the Arrow BNC to a radio's SMA connector, possibly another quarter or third of one db loss. Bottom line - NO PROBLEMS. Both "additions" add up to 2/3 of ONE db loss.

Why doesn't the Arrow Antenna manufacturer post "gain" figures? Well, the emotional part of me thinks, "Heck, it works so great, I don't really need to know ... " But the inquisitive Clint would like to know. I personally have felt that there's about 7-12db gain on the 440 side, and about 4-6db gain on the 2 meter side. THOSE NUMBERS ARE PERSONAL OPINIONS ONLY, and not based on my own personal scientific analysis. But there are a couple "non-biased" tests out there that ARE reporting numbers very close to what I "feel."

ARROW'S YAGI vs. ELK'S LOG PERIODIC - I own both. They both work well for FM satellite work (as well as for Earth-based comms, too!). I have used the Arrow for my demos and presentations the past several years for a couple of (very un-scientific) reasons ...

- The Arrow for me just seems to "capture" the satellite's signal in a more "pronounced" way. (Talk about UN-scientific opinions! (grin)) I mean, when the satellite is rising ... and gets to about five or seven degrees above the horizon ... moving it slowly and pointing it towards the path of the sat gives me that slight audio "deadening" ("capturing" ) sooner than the Elk does. Although this phenomenon IS real to my ears, it is probably something that cannot be measured easily. But audiences hear me say, "There it is ... " well before voices are heard - as the Arrow "finds" the sat's approach.

- The Arrow is a great conversation starter, even if just sitting on a tabletop or mounted on a tripod. It is elegant ... simple ... new ones are a vibrant purple (grin) ... And after adding my Stanley(tm) hacksaw handle to it, it can be more easily passed around to visitors to handle.

POLARIZATION ISSUES - Engineers (darn those engineers!) tell us that there may be up to a 22-or-23db INCREASE or DECREASE in signal strength workin' the FM birds by simply twisting your antenna 90 degrees.

That's the engineers talking. And, on paper, that 22db loss/gain may be correct. But in the real world? It is nonsense. At EVERY demo I have given over the years, and on EVERY pass in my back yard, I talk with stations, and, during the pass, twist my antenna 90 degrees to see if I can "hear" a signal increase or signal degradation using the Arrow. It just doesn't occur - at lease noting that I can HEAR myself.

Elk antenna devotees state that it is easier to turn the Elk 90 degrees to accommodate the polarization issue. And that is probably true. I just haven't experienced this to BE an issue.

I *do* like the job Elk has done with the paint/protective coating on their elements. It is a weatherized sort of black coating. Gives a real "serious" look to the antenna!

SO ... there you go. More info than you probably ever wanted to know about the topic. I am packing up this moment to give my sat presentation to a club in Norwalk, CA this afternoon, it's my "elegantly well-worn light purple" Arrow that is going with me.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666



Arrow vs. Elk Performance

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... I am torn between purchasing an Arrow or an Elk ... But there's some negative messagegroup posts against the Arrow ...
I have not been able to determine WHEN and WHY that "anti-Arrow" sentiment started.

Personally, unless a "performance results" post on either the Elk or the Arrow antenna begins with the phrase ...

"According to my professional-grade, recently-calibrated signal generator indicates [such-and-such performance]' ...

- then the "report" is valueless to me." Because I hate "Internet myths passed as truth" and mindless repeating of un-cited sources. ESPECIALLY when my first-hand experiences indicate something totally opposite.

Some will tell you that you need to add little washers to each Arrow Antenna element. Others state that its duplexer is a miserable performer. Let me tell you a story ...

While I was working at Ham Radio Outlet, a client - an ENGINEER - bought an Arrow Sat Antenna w/duplexer from me - on my recommendation. I mean, I bought one myself, and was enjoying it. I wanted all my clients to enjoy them, too.

But there he was, waiting for me to open up the shop the next morning, Arrow Antenna in hand. "This cannot possibly work," he declared. "It is engineered all wrong. I want to return it."

Part of me wanted to "question / challenge" him and find out what troubled him. But he was so adamant that I immediately dropped that idea. Instead, I began to think, "Open Stock item - 10% discount ... " So I cheerfully refunded him his money, and bought the "defective, engineered all wrong" unit myself as soon as he left the store.

And you know what's coming next: Honest to gawd, it is the exact same antenna I have been using the past five or six years for my demos and presentations. The only "degradation" from Day One has been the color of the elements (brand new out of the bag, they're a vibrant purple. Mine, however, have "faded" over time to what I term an "elegant, well-worn light purple ... "

There WAS an honest, un-biased test result posted recently on the 'Net of the Arrow duplexer used, indicating about a 1/3 of one db loss through it. That is quite reasonable, and what I would expect from that circuitry.

And if one uses one of those little 18" thin jumper cables to convert from the Arrow BNC to a radio's SMA connector, possibly another quarter or third of one db loss. Bottom line - NO PROBLEMS. Both "additions" add up to 2/3 of ONE db loss.

Why doesn't the Arrow Antenna manufacturer post "gain" figures? Well, the emotional part of me thinks, "Heck, it works so great, I don't really need to know ... " But the inquisitive Clint would like to know. I personally have felt that there's about 7-12db gain on the 440 side, and about 4-6db gain on the 2 meter side. THOSE NUMBERS ARE PERSONAL OPINIONS ONLY, and not based on my own personal scientific analysis. But there are a couple "non-biased" tests out there that ARE reporting numbers very close to what I "feel."

ARROW'S YAGI vs. ELK'S LOG PERIODIC - I own both. They both work well for FM satellite work (as well as for Earth-based comms, too!). I have used the Arrow for my demos and presentations the past several years for a couple of (very un-scientific) reasons ...

- The Arrow for me just seems to "capture" the satellite's signal in a more "pronounced" way. (Talk about UN-scientific opinions! (grin)) I mean, when the satellite is rising ... and gets to about five or seven degrees above the horizon ... moving it slowly and pointing it towards the path of the sat gives me that slight audio "deadening" ("capturing") sooner than the Elk does. Although this phenomenon IS real to my ears, it is probably something that cannot be measured easily. But audiences hear me say, "There it is ... " well before voices are heard - as the Arrow "finds" the sat's approach.

- The Arrow is a great conversation starter, even if just sitting on a tabletop or mounted on a tripod. It is elegant ... simple ... new ones are a vibrant purple (grin) ... And after adding my Stanley(tm) hacksaw handle to it, it can be more easily passed around to visitors to handle.

POLARIZATION ISSUES - Engineers (darn those engineers!) tell us that there may be up to a 22-or-23db INCREASE or DECREASE in signal strength workin' the FM birds by simply twisting your antenna 90 degrees.

That's the engineers talking. And, on paper, that 22db loss/gain may be correct. But in the real world? It is nonsense. At EVERY demo I have given over the years, and on EVERY pass in my back yard, I talk with stations, and, during the pass, twist my antenna 90 degrees to see if I can "hear" a signal increase or signal degradation using the Arrow. It just doesn't occur - at lease noting that I can HEAR myself.

Elk antenna devotees state that it is easier to turn the Elk 90 degrees to accommodate the polarization issue. And that is probably true. I just haven't experienced this to BE an issue.

I *do* like the job Elk has done with the paint/protective coating on their elements. It is a weatherized sort of black coating. Gives a real "serious" look to the antenna!

SO ... there you go. More info than you probably ever wanted to know about the topic. I am packing up this moment to give my sat presentation to a club in Norwalk, CA this afternoon, it's my "elegantly well-worn light purple" Arrow that is going with me.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666


AO-51 Modes for November

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

The AO-51 Control Team has posted the satellite schedule for the
month of November and the first week of December:

November 6 - November 12
-------------------------
FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

9k6 BBS, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz 9k6 FM

November 13 - November 15
-------------------------
ZS1LS requested a weekend of the QRP repeater for the AMSAT-SA
group to use. QRP gets such little use here, and we had a request
for SSTV, so we are going for dual use this weekend.

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

FM repeater, V/U SSTV and AMSAT-SA Event
Uplink: 145.880 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM

November 16 - November 19
-------------------------
38k4 BBS, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz 38k4 FM

November 20 - November 25
-------------------------
FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

9k6 BBS, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz 9k6 FM

November 26 - November 29
-------------------------
FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

FM repeater, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM

November 30 - December 6
-------------------------
For the reversal, the Control Team is going to use the chargeable
magnet to reverse the orientation of AO-51 so the downlink antennas
and the L/S antenna will favor the southern hemisphere.

We have not done this before. We'll need as many quantitative obser-
vations before and after the flip as possible, especially from the
Southern Hemisphere. Tentative plans are to flip it on a Tuesday or
Wednesday after collecting some 5 second telemetry WOD files as a
baseline.

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

9k6 BBS, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz 9k6 FM

The latest AO-51 Control Team news can be found on-line at ...

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/CTNews.php


Yagis vs. HT Antennas

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... Is the performance of the commercial Yagis (like the Elk or Arrow) going to be that much better than the Smiley 270A?
Last time I checked in with Alan, N5AFV, he logged over 9,200 contacts using just his HT and antenna improvement (In his case, an Icom IC-W32a and Pryme AL-800 antenna).

SO ... It CERTAINLY can be done with just an HT and antenna improvement - like the Smiley 270A.

But there is a tremendous difference when you can use a Yagi built for sat work. You can work the birds at lower elevations, and your TX and RX signals are much better.

You can inexpensively build a "tape measure" Yagi for the downlink to experience the difference that its 7-12db gain will offer. Links on ...

http://www.work-sat.com

Clint


Re: sats to work

LOREN RASMUSSEN <lorenrasmussen@...>
 

thank you, just what I needed
73
Loren
K7CWQ

----- Original Message -----
From: K6LCS
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 9:50 AM
Subject: [Work-Sat] Re: sats to work

>> ...  which other sats should i be looking at?

AO-27, the new SO-67, the cross-band repeater on the ISS ...

Watch the info on the AMSAT Sat page at ...

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/satellites/status.php

... for updates!

Clint






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Re: sats to work

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... which other sats should i be looking at?
AO-27, the new SO-67, the cross-band repeater on the ISS ...

Watch the info on the AMSAT Sat page at ...

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/satellites/status.php

... for updates!

Clint


sats to work

k7cwq <lorenrasmussen@...>
 

AO51 has good passes at my qth at good times for me. SO50 has some good passes also, but the times are not usually the best for my routine. which other sats should i be looking at?


Re: success and maybe an arrow

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... .I use an Elk dual-band log periodic yagi with my FT-60R and works great. Doesnt need that duplexer, like the Arrow, but the price is just abit cheaper than the Arrow ...
They're within fifteen bucks of each other now ...

I own both. I just feel the Arrow "captures" more solidly than the Elk - but you are correct: Both make working the FM birds breeze!

Clint


Re: success and maybe an arrow

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... finally had success with AO51 with my FT60 and a smiley 270A ...
Outstanding news!

... still on the fence about getting an arrow ...
Well, if the cost is a factor, build a dual-band Yagi for twenty bucks or less - and see the difference such a directional antenna makes for you!

Plans all over the 'Net - as well as a couple URLs at ...

http://www.work-sat.com

Clint

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